At the onset of the 2013 Major League Baseball season, I was optimistic that the Red Sox would improve on their 2012 performance. How could they not? I thought it was clear that John Farrell was the best man for the Red Sox Managerial job, aside from Terry Francona.
That said, while I liked the mental make-up of the veterans that the Red Sox had added, Mike Napoli had some serious injury question marks and Shane Victorino was, well, Shane Victorino. I don’t think anybody saw Clay Buchholz’s performance coming, and John Lackey was at best a question mark. Nearly ever other player on the roster had some sort of potential injury issue that could derail the ship.
I predicted that the Red Sox would win between 82-86 games, which could potentially snag them a wild card spot. I’m happy to say that my prediction was wrong – the Red Sox have now won 87 games, and they still have 17 left to play. They lead all of baseball in wins, in runs scored, and in run differential. Rack a few points up for good management and clubhouse chemistry.
So how will the Red Sox ultimately fare? As I’ve said before, I’ll side with cautious optimism. I like this team, but I still think the Detroit Tigers are the best team in baseball.
Alas, one wrong prediction isn’t enough to silence me – it’s time to weigh in on the Patriots chances this season. I will not be making predictions regarding the Celtics (they won’t be good, but Brad Stevens is a stud) or the Bruins (who really cares).
Without further adieu, the Patriots will go 11-5 this season. They’re still not that good defensively, and they’ve taken a serious step backwards on offense as well. People will be way to fast to say Tom Brady is getting old, blah blah blah, but anyone with half a brain will realize that the changing of the guard that’s occurred in New England’s offense is unprecedented. So here’s a little reminder: last year Tom Brady had Wes Welker, who is the only wide receiver in history with five 100+ reception seasons. He had the most threatening and versatile combination of tight ends arguably in NFL history in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. And he has Brandon Lloyd, who was undoubtedly highly skilled.
So far in 2013 we’re working with a receiving corps of Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Kenbrell Thompkins – I think you can very easily make a case that this is the worst set of targets in the NFL. Gronkowski’s pending return will provide a huge boost, but if Amendola or Gronkowski go down at any point this season the Patriots are in trouble. While our division is unusually weak this year, we’re going to lose some games that we wouldn’t have lost in the past.
But yea, I mean, we’ll win the division like we always do. We’ll even make the AFC championship, where Wes Welker will catch a game winning touchdown to beat us. Yes, I said catch, not drop. You heard it here first.